A Tale of Two Cities, er, Two DMVs

One of the many culture shocks in moving from the Stalinist Peoples’ Republic of Maryland to East Boondocks, Virginia, is the scale of commerce and gubmint.  Prince Georges County, Maryland, is a corrupt and crowded place (a previous County Administrator’s wife was caught with her underwear stuffed to overflowing with cash during the sting that sent her and her husband to the Big House) with nearly a million inhabitants, and dealing with the gubmint offices there is a descent into Dante’s Seventh Circle of Hell.  Any foray in person to the Motor Vehicle Administration there confirms that Kafka and Orwell were drug addled optimists.  I have had instances of where a single simple auto title transfer took two days of vacation time.

Now we live in a county in the Virginia mountains that is so remote and sparsely populated that a full-service Department of Motor Vehicles office — necessary for the change of address and the acquisition of a drivers license — requires a drive of an hour-and-a-half to the facility in Covinington VA.  That was the task I assigned to myself for the day.

But, guess what?  And here I am uttering words I thought were metaphysically impossible: it was GREAT!  The staff was polite and helpful, literally calling out to me as I was still in the entryway.  45 minutes later I departed with a new title for my truck AND the tags AND a new title for my trailer AND the tag AND a new drivers license AND a new voter registration.  Just about any one of those would have been a day’s misadventure back in PGCMD.

Surely, the Age of Miracles is not over!